tv Public Affairs CSPAN July 25, 2013 10:00am-1:01pm EDT
regulate coal combustion products by fixed standards without overwhelming state budgets or customers' wallets. the recycling and reuse of coal combustion products has great economic and environmental benefits. extending the broods and reducing deposits in landfills and surfaces. it will provide the certainties states, businesses depend on all while giving the e.p.a. the authority to protect the public should a state fail to enforce these standards. i ask my colleagues to support this legislation. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from california. mr. waxman: mr. chairman, i continue to reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from illinois. mr. shimkus: mr. chairman, i'd
like to recognize mr. bucshon from indiana, a neighbor across from my congressional district, for one minute. the chair: the gentleman from indiana is recognized for one minute. mr. bucshon: thank you, mr. chairman. i rise in support of this legislation. every single coal mine in the state of indiana is in my congressional district. coal not only provides thousands of jobs for hoosiers but provides over 90% of our state's energy. coal is a vital part of indiana's economy, helping to create -- keep energy prices low and supporting a robust manufacturing sector. i disagree with the e.p.a.'s position that coal ash should be treated as a hazardous material. coal ash has been described to be used in other material like concrete and safe when used correctly and stored correctly. the e.p.a. studies, as has been mentioned in 1993 and 2000, has state that had coal ash is not a hazardous material. this legislation allows states to establish their own regulations from managing coal ash as long as it meets minimum federal standards. coal is necessary for an
all-of-the-above energy plan and is vital to our nation's energy production, needs that sustains good-paying jobs. i urge all of my colleagues to legislation. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from california. mr. waxman: i inquire, mr. chairman, of the chairman of the subcommittee how many speakers he has? mr. shimkus: we have a lot of support on this side for support of this legislation and want to talk. mr. waxman: continue to reserve. the chair: the gentleman from illinois. mr. shimkus: mr. chairman, my colleague from indiana said the indiana department of environmental management wrote in support of this bill because of its safety. i yield to the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. dent, for two minutes. the chair: the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized for two minutes. mr. dent: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in strong support of this legislation, h.r. 2218. i heard comments about coal
ash. coal ash maybe at one point was energetic but the coal ash we're discussing here today is like dirt, to be quite honest. as co-chair of the cement caucus, i have the largest cement producing district. cement and concrete, folks, industry is by far the nation's largest recycler of coal mbustion residuals, or c.c.r.'s, or coal ash, as it's better known. it is recycled into the production of concrete. this is essential to our manufacturing sector. domestic manufacturers tiply reuse an additional three million tons of coal ash annually as a raw material in cement production. the coal ash used in the process serves as a substitute for key ingredients in cement which would otherwise be mined. without h.r. 2218, the e.p.a. would be able to classify coal ash as a hazardous material which in turn would put an end
to this very useful recycling. in the continued regulatory uncertainty generated by the stalled e.p.a. rulemaking would dramatically inhibit the recycling of coal ash into domestic cement and concrete production. recycling -- this recycling includes all kinds of infrastructure products, including our roads, bridges, homes, schools and other critical structures. coal ash continues to be recycled in a safe, responsible manner. whatever issues there have been with coal ash, they have largely been related to storage. this bill thoroughly addresses coal ash storage issues which is really where we should be focused. again, h.r. 2218 provides clarity needed by top recyclers to continue their efforts and to potentially increase coal ash recycling. again, i ask my colleagues to support passage of this important piece of legislation that will ensure the beneficial reuse of coal ash.
the yes vote is the right vote. it's pro-manufacturing. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from california. mr. waxman: mr. chairman and my colleagues, when coal ash is recycled, it is not a waste. and therefore e.p.a. has no jurisdiction. it is not a problem. when coal ash is put into a andfill or disposal site and leeches into the water, then it is the problem. and this bill doesn't address that problem. it doesn't adequately assure protection of the public health or if they have a law at the state level that seems to talk about public health, there's no clear enforcement of it. so that is our problem with the legislation. recycling coal ash for any purpose doesn't make it has artous. it doesn't make it toxic. it can be reused, and we want to encourage that, but we don't want public health threatened.
at's what our concern is all about. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from illinois. mr. shimkus: thank you, mr. chairman. to my colleague from california, i'm -- we're waiting for a few members. i'm not sure they're going to get here. i'm willing to have you close and then i'll close after you're done. so if you want to -- i yield back -- reserve my time. the chair: the gentleman from california. mr. waxman: knowing we want to wrap up in general debate, i will just repeat that e.p.a. proposed to act and that is what has caused this whole fuel rather than discuss what is the appropriate balance between e.p.a. and the states. the republican bill would take this away from e.p.a., keep them from regulating and turn where the the states states can already act and many have. they don't need us to give them the power to act. his bill says it's up to the
states. it doesn't have a uniform standard of protecting public health. it doesn't require states to have the goal of protecting the public health and if the states achieve the goal in their legislation to protect public health, there's no guarantee of it being enforced because e.p.a. cannot come back in and enforce the state law even. and citizens cannot file lawsuits. that's one of the so-called improvements, that's been made since the last time this bill was before us. it's weakened our ability to enforce protection of public health. so i urge my colleagues to oppose this bill and in doing so tell us to go back and work on the problem and get a real true bipartisan bill that can be supported by the majority of the democrats and by the president of the united states. i urge members to vote against the bill, and i yield back the
balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from california yields back his time. the gentleman from illinois. mr. shimkus: thank you, mr. chairman. i yield myself the balance of the time. the -- it's been a great debate, it's been a great process. i'll just summarize some issues. yes, the issue is about beneficial reuse, like the shingle here, but it's also about the storage. we were very close to passing this piece of legislation in the last congress, as the ranking member knows. this bill is better, as my colleague from texas says. there's 12 additional changes made in this bill versus last bill -- last year's bill that addresses many of the concerns that the minority asked and also concerns by the environmental protection agency. we worked very, very closely with them. that is why -- and i'll say it again -- the administration has not issued a veto threat on this bill. that's a signal that they may
have issues, but there's not an outright veto threat on this bill. that's a signal that we work with them to address some of the major concerns. again, i want to highlight some of the special interest groups that are forcing this legislation. like the united mine workers. the building and construction trades. the transportation workers. those who are historically considered in the minority's to the n are now moving pro-job coalition of this bill and hopefully other bills in the future. also, i want to just re-emphasize that the e.p.a. in 1993 and 2000 that coal ash does not have the characteristics of hazardous waste, including toxicity and should not be regulated under
subtitle c. that's not us. that's the e.p.a. and that's the e.p.a. making that ruling twice. we believe that the federal government can set standards. we believe that the federal government can enforce that the states do certification, and we trust the states to be able to monitor and meet the standards. that's why we have the environmental council of the states. i listed indiana's department of the environment in support because what they want to do is get a handle on this. let's not confuse the issue. if the e.p.a.'s able to label fly ash as toxic, it does epress the beneficial use. so the cheap concrete that's mixed with fly ash will not be put in. the road mitigation issues which we've done will not be put in.
my colleague, marsha blackburn, did a good job talking about how we use today coal ash and fly ash. so i want to thank my colleague, mr. mckinley, for moving this bill and my colleagues on the subcommittee who have made changes and moved forward. we look forward to the debates on the amendment, and we look forward to passing of the bill and sending it to the other chamber and eventually a signature by the president of the united states. with that for this part i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. all time for general debate has expired. pursuant to the rule, the amendment in the nature of a the itute recommended by committee oners in printed in the bill shall be considered as an original bill for the purpose of amendment under the five-minute rule and shall be considered as read. no amendment to the committee amendment in the nature of a substitute shall be in order except those printed in part a of house report 113-174. each such amendment may be offered only in the report, shall be considered as read, the time ebatable for
specified in the report equally dividend and controlled by the proponent and an opponent, shall not be subject to amendment, and shall not be subject to a demand for division of the question. it's not in order to consider amendment number 1 printed in part a of house report 113-174. for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia seek recognition? mr. connolly: mr. chairman, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 1 printed in part a of house report 113-174 offered by mr. connolly of virginia. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 315, the gentleman from virginia, mr. connolly, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from virginia. mr. connolly: i thank the chair. mr. chairman, i rise to offer a commonsense amendment to ensure that every state that chooses to have coal ash in this bill has a strong emergency response plan in an unfortunate event of
a leak or spill. unfortunate one highlights the very devastation of this bill it can have on a community. as was widely reported at the time, a breach in surface impoundment at the tennessee valley authority's kingston facility released more than five million cubic yards of coal ash, covering more than 300 acres in toxic sludge, damaging and destroying homes and property. as we speak, there is still a federal superfund cleanup site where the total cost could top more than $1.2 billion. absent to plan, what could go wrong? beyond that staggering price tag, let us not forget that the lasting economic and health impacts on the surrounding communities resulting from this spill is catastrophic. families were displaced from their homes. some residents still suffer from respiratory illnesses and other side effects.
arsenic levels where the kingston coal ash runoff was disposed of is measured 80 times higher than the amount legally allowed under the safe drinking water act, and the e.p.a. already said such exposure significantly increases a lifetime risk of cancer. these are just the impacts we know of today. who knows what the unknown health consequences might be. he kingston incident is not an isolated event, unfortunately. there have been 211 known cases of coal ash contamination and spills in 37 different states. according to the e.p.a., 45 impoundments are currently considered high hazard, meaning that a failure will probably cause loss of human life. of course, this bill doesn't concern itself with those problems or apply the lessons learned. in response to the kingston incident, former tennessee governor even acknowledged that the states environmental regulations, mostly written in the 16970's, simply don't take
into an account a disaster such as the disaster in kingston. and he said we need a top to bottom review of those policies. as we've already seen, the ederal government is forced to step in when disasters such as this take place. yet, rather than make the federal government a partner, even a resource, this bill turns sole responsibility over to the states. . there ought to be a clear set of standards for e.p.a. to remedy state deficiencies. protectionound water standards and taking protective action on unlined and leaking compounds. that seems to make sense. it would certify that will they are permitted annually, including up-to-date emergency response plans. the house thought regular reporting was nothing more than a paperwork exercise, so i now offer this revised amendment in keeping with their concerns to ensure at a minimum that states
have thorough and comprehensive emergency response plans to address a spill or leak. we cannot simply count on private enterprise to be prepared for a spill. the state and local governments who are the first responders must be active partners by requiring them to provide e.p.a. simply with their own emergency response plans, we are taking a modest step to ensure they are prepared to respond to an emergency. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. who claims time in opposition? mr. shimkus: i do, mr. chairman. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. shimkus: i want to thank my colleague for working with us and making some changes that we thought was appropriate. we agree, the colleague from virginia, that states should identify what their emergency response procedures are. and in the certification process. we are prepared to accept it. we thank him for his work. he's made it a better bill. with that i yield back my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back.
the gentleman from virginia. mr. connolly: mr. chairman, i thank my colleague. i look forward to working with him. with that i yield back to the distinguished ranking member. does the distinguished ranking member wish time? otherwise i yield back. mr. waxman: thank you for being so generous. i certainly support your amendment and urge all of our colleagues to support it as well. mr. connolly: i thank the gentleman. with that, mr. chairman, i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. all time has been yielded back. the question son the amendment offered by the gentleman from virginia. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the amendment is adopted. it's now in order to consider amendment number 2 printed in -a. a of house report 113-7 for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. waxman: mr. chairman, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 2, printed in part a of house
report number 113-174, offered by mr. waxman of california. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 315, the gentleman from california, mr. waxman, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. waxman: thank you, mr. chairman. under all of our environmental laws the federal government sets a standard and then the states implement the law looking at the different circumstances in their community. for example, the clean air act says in effect, everywhere in this country we cannot have air pollution that exceeds the standard to protect the public health. but the states decide the implementation to achieve that standard. under this bill, we are not setting a national standard. we are telling the states to set a standard. if we are going to let the states set the standard, my amendment would require that the standard in every state be to
protect the public health. to protect human health and the environment. that's the goal of these laws. and that should be the requirement under this law. the standards are the yardsticks under which we determine whether a state's effort measures up and ensures a consistent level of protection throughout the nation. if we are not going to have a national standard, by e.p.a., let's require the state to set that standard. this is an approach that's worked well because it ensures that all americans enjoy a minimum level of protection. and residents of one state are not threatened by inadequate laws in a neighboring state. for example, if one state has a good strong law to protect the public health, another state tries to get the business away from one state to locate in theirs will drop their standards lower.
to try to entice that business to relocate. thes laxest protection becomes the dumping ground for the neighboring states. we don't want to put states in a race to the bottom. when congress passed the resource conservation and recovery act, we assigned ep and simple mission -- to protect human health and the environment from unsafe disposal of solid waste. achieving that mission can be complex, but we have a clear goal. it provides direction for the agency's tell work, but the bill we are considering today doesn't contain this standard. disposal household cashage, for example, must be disposed in a way that protects human health. but under this bill, coal ash would not be required to be disposed of in a way that protects human health. my amendment would fix this serious problem bcalling on
the states to require measures necessary to protect human health and the environment. if we had the republicans willing to accept the amendment that every state have an emergency plan, we are simply asking that every state have a goal clearly stated to achieve of human health and the environment. otherwise a state's plan is not adequate, there would be no recourse as long as the state meets all the other requirements of this law, but still does not get to the goal. and the congressional research service examined this legislation and they told us that nothing in h.r. 2218 requires the states to establish programs that will achieve any specified level of federal standard or protection. so c.r.s. concluded, quote, the degree to which a state program
made to protect human health ash isk specific to coal disposal would not be known until individual states begin to interpret the bill. that means one thing we know for sure is that this bill will take e.p.a. off the beat, take e.p.a. off the beat like we took the s.e.c. off the beat and other regulators where wall street took huge risks and drove our economy over the cliff. we'll take the e.p.a. off the beat and then we'll gamble on each state government doing a good job. that's a pretty risky gamble. and if it doesn't pay off, who is going to suffer? the price will be borne by communities in michigan, ohio, pennsylvania, alabama, elsewhere whose water supplies will suffer from toxic contamination. this is -- members from some of those states come in here and argue we need those jobs. of course we need the jobs.
and we are going to keep those jobs. but why shouldn't in keeping jobs the waste disposals be constructed in a way that will not pollute or drinking water and harm human health. if a community's water supply becomes too toxic -- the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. waxman: i urge we set this standard in the bill and adopt this amendment. the chair: who claims time in opposition? for what purpose does the gentleman from west virginia rise? mr. mckinley: i rise in opposition to the amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. to mckinley: first i want just add a congratulations to my colleague from california whose position has evolved over the past couple years. i remember back in 2011 had he a problem and voted against -- he had a problem and voted against
recycling material. so to hear him today -- i appreciate that. that was on h.r. 1 in february of 2011. , this is amendment not necessary. because 2218 establishes a minimum standard for protection of coal ash permit programs. the standard of protection is the minimum requirement to set up for this bill. it includes protection such as ground water monitoring, corrective action, specific cleanup and closure requirements for unlined, leaking impoundments. structural building requirements and dust controls. furthermore 2218 establishes a minimum national standard that is based on the existing criteria for musenies pal solid waste land phils, which were promulgated by e.p.a. to, quote, protect human health and the environment. this chart is just a collection of some of the -- elements that
are included in the bill. already to deal with standards. things like requiring that the structure be located above water tables, ground water monitoring is to be included in this. we have surface water controls under section 411, 4011. controls for c.c.r. land phills. control runoff for c.c.r. surface. accelerated correction action for unlined surface impoundments. we included in this bill and included in here if people would read the bill, they would see that under 4011 there are areas where the e.p.a. can help to idea fishencies, including specific criteria for undertaking a deficiency review. it has a backstop authority to enforce that these requirements are upheld and to correct any e.p.a. identified deficiency. my colleague continues to use
this race to the bottom among states, and they were competing with each other to become the dumping ground for neighboring states. that's a misguided assumption and frankly an insult to the hardworking state environmental regulators. it is unfortunate he also does not trust the environmental regulators in his state or any other state for that matter, to establish permit programs that are protective. my colleague, the state regulators railroad -- every day protect the human health and environment. another problem with the amendment is not well-defined. the e.p.a. or judge would have sole discretion to determine what constitutes, quote, protecting human health and the environment. any state failing to meet this subjective and ambiguous statement or standard would have their permit program stripped from them to be run by the e.p.a. this amendment diminishes the
important role of the states and let the e.p.a. meddle in a program that states have proven that they are capable of handling. this amendment is not about protecting human health and the environment. it's about growing federal control at the expense of the states. states have been tasked with implenting rick a and this -- rcra, and this bill allows them to continue to do just that. if you support bigger government, support this amendment. but if you trust your state to take care of its own people, then we should oppose it. i urge the opposition to this amendment and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman is the only one left with time. the gentleman -- back. mckinley: i yield the chair: the question son the amendment offered by the gentleman from california. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the noes have it. mr. waxman: i ask for a recorded
vote. the chair: the gentleman asks for a recorded vote. pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from california will be postponed. it is now in order to consider amendment number 3 printed in part a of house report 113-174. for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? mr. tonko: mr. chairman, i have an amendment at the desk. i believe amendment number 3. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 3, printed in part a of house report number 113-174, offered by mr. tonko of new york. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 315, the gentleman from new york, mr. tonko, and a member opposed, will each control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york. mr. tonko: thank you, mr. chair. we are a nation of 50 states, but we are bound together by common history, purpose, and laws. prior to the passage of national environmental laws, states had individual regulatory programs that offered a patchwork of protection. we tried the system for air, water, for toxic waste, and for
a number of many other things. that is the system we have today for the disposal of coal combustion residuals that cannot be recycled. it did not work, it does not work. h.r. 2218 will not correct the problems with coal ash disposal. we have a state by state program for coal ash disposal now. h.r. 2218 codifies that situation and goes further to prevent the e.p.a. from exercising its authority to require that state programs provide a basic standard to ensure that all citizens are indeed protected. my amendment authorizes a proper federal role. a role of oversight for the e.p.a. to ensure the actions of one state do not result in negative impacts on a state with which it shares an important resource. in addition, my amendment would enable the states to request that e.p.a. review the permitting program of another state to ensure that the program
offered sufficient protection of its citizens and its resources. we do not allow northern states along the mississippi river to dump toxic substances into the river for downstream states to clean up. we do not allow individual states to pollute the air and send the pollution well beyond their borders. we need a better system for dealing with coal combustion waste. a system that applies fairly across our great country. you might wonder how often the location of a coal ash facility is near enough to a shared resource or a state's border to cause a potential problem. . well, it turns out it's common. the failure of a coal ash facility associated with the marntse creek power plant in pennsylvania affected communities in new jersey when coal ash spilled into the delaware river. residents of the state of michigan were upset when the failure of an old coal ash
impoundment in wisconsin sent coal ash, mud and machinery into lake michigan. and several of this coal combustion facilities is on the high hazard list are located along the ohio river, a shared border and resource of these two states. well, i could go on. it turns out because these facilities are often located in close proximity to coal-fired utilities where the waste is generated, they are also close to water required for cooling and steam generation. a number are located near sizeable water sources that serve multiple communities and often multiple states. and so in order to ensure good relations between neighboring states and to ensure that all our citizens are protected from exposure to the toxic substances contained in coal ash, i believe the e.p.a. should have the authority to step in when necessary. the system we have used
successfully based upon common standards that ensure the protection of human health and the environment should be applied to this situation. we cannot afford another episode like the one in kingston, tennessee. the choice is not about whether we can have a clean, healthy environment or a robust economy. we can have both. part of the formula for ensuring a robust economy includes having a clean environment. pollution is not cost free. it costs us lost work days, illness and were mature deaths. it results in failing property and unnecessary cleanup costs. we can do better. my amendment will improve this bill and protect all our citizens and their shared resources. i urge my colleagues to support the amendment. with that i thank you, mr. chair, and reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from illinois, for what purpose does he rise?
mr. shimkus: mr. chairman, i claim time in opposition. the chair: you are recognized for five minutes. mr. shimkus: thank you, mr. chairman. the state permit program must incorporate the minimum requirements which are based on regulations promulgated by the e.p.a. to quote-unquote protect human health and the environment which include groundwater monitoring of all structures, dust control, structure stability requirements, structures that can't be corrected. the premise of this is if you have federal standards that they're not protected and the states will not do that. we find this debate very curious in that my colleagues on the other side have so much of a disrespect for the states and their environmental communities and the ability of states to ensure the protection of human health, the environment from a state position. federal standards, state
certification process, states under rcra, the states do this anyway. this is what the states do. under the municipal solid waste disposal act, the states are the ones who are enforcing this. all we're doing is saying we can do this now for fly ash and coal ash. so while my colleague's amendment is well intentioned, it really undercuts the purpose of the legislation and unnecessary because the bill contains specific criteria by which the e.p.a. will judge state permit programs. and i listed those earlier. this is political appealing amendment, but it has many flaws, not the least of which is any state can request that e.p.a. review another state's coal combustion residual permit program regardless of the location and whether there is actually a cross-border impact. as my colleague pointed out in the rules committee on tuesday, there's no requirement in this amendment that a state that requests a review needs to even
be impacted by the contamination allegedly coming from another state. while my colleague has probably scoured the country to come up for an example or two of coal ash crossing state lines, the fact of the matter is cross-boundary contamination is not really an issue with respect to coal ash disposal because regulation of solid waste disposal is typically an issue that remains within the state. this amendment creates to create another hook for the e.p.a. to measure state coal combustion residual permit programs using the subjective yardstick of what is protected of human health and the environment which my colleague did a good job defending in the other amendment. i understand that my colleague believes that the federal government must step in to save the day, but i trust that our state environmental regulators are up to the task of making sure that our communities are protected. this amendment diminishes the important role of the states, and i urge opposition to this amendment and i yield back my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back.
the gentleman from new york. r. tonko: mr. chair, i respect the work done by my colleague illinois but respectfully disagree with his assessment. there's ample evidence that states have poorly regulated, in some cases, this waste stream and tr puts at risk innocent bystanders who are impacted by their action. so i stand by the worthiness of this amendment. again, encourage my colleagues to support it. with that i thank you, mr. chair, and reserve -- yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from new york yields back. all time for the amendment has been yielded. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from new york. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. mr. tonko: mr. chair, i ask for a recorded vote. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from new york will be postponed.
pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, proceedings will now resume on the amendments printed in part a of house report 113-174 on which further proceedings were postponed and in the following order, amendment number 2 by mr. waxman of california, amendment number 3 by mr. tonko of new york. the chair will reduce to two minutes the minimum time for any electronic vote after the first vote in the series. the unfinished business is the request for a recorded vote on amendment number 2 printed in part a of house report 113-174 by the gentleman from california, mr. waxman, on which further proceedings were postponed and on which the noes prevailed by voice vote. the clerk will redesignate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 2 printed in part a of house report 113-174 offered by mr. waxman of california. the chair: a recorded vote has been requested. those in support of the request for a recorded vote will rise and be counted. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device.
this will be a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
gentleman from new york, mr. tonko, on which the further proceedings were postponed, on which the noes prevailed by voice vote. the clerk will redesignate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 3 printed in part a of house report 113-174 offered by mr. tonko of new york. the chair: a recorded vote has been requested. those in support of the request for a recorded vote will rise and be counted. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a two-minute vote. two-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of epresentatives.]
the chair: on this vote the yeas are 176, the nays are 235. the amendment is not adopted -- 239. the amendment is not adopted. the question is on the committee amendment in the nature of a substitute as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the amendment is adopted. accordingly the under the rule the committee rises. -- accordingly under the rule the committee rises. mr. speaker, the committee of the whole house on the state of
the union, i report the bill back to the house with the amendment adopted. the speaker pro tempore: the chair of the committee of the whole house on the state of the union reports that the committee has had under consideration the bill h.r. 2218 and pursuant to house resolution 351, reports the bill back to the house with an amendment adopted in the committee of the whole. under the rule, the previous question is ordered. is a separate vote demanded on the amendment to the amendment reported from the committee of the whole? if not, the question is on adoption of the committee amendment in the nature of a substitute as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed to. the question is on engrossment and third reading of the bill. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. third reading. the clerk: a bill to amend subtitle 2 z of the solid waste disposal act to encourage recovery and beneficial use of
coal cust bomb -- combustion residuals and established requirements for the proper management and disposal of coal combustion residuals that are protective of human health and the environment. the speaker pro tempore: the house will come to order. the chair would ask all members to please take their onversations from the floor. the chair would ask all members to please take their seats. all members and staff to please take their conversations from the floor. the chair would ask all members who have flights to please take their seats. please take their conversations rom the floor.
the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from minnesota seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i have a motion to recommit at the desk. the speaker pro tempore: is the gentlelady opposed to the bill? >> in its current form, i am, sirment the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady qualifies. the clerk will report the motion. the clerk: ms. mccollum of minnesota moves to recommit the bill h.r. 2218 to the committee on energy and commerce with instructions to report the same back to the house forthwith with the following amendment. 14, insert r line the following new clause. one, protecting drinking water and the great lakes. the implementing agency shall require that all but disposal structures meet criteria for design, construction, operation, and maintenance sufficient to prevent contamination of ground water and sources of drinking water, including the great lakes.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois. million shimkus: i have a point of order against the motion to he recommit. the speaker pro tempore: point of order is reserved. again the chair would respectfully guess all members to please thick their conversations from the floor. please take their seats as the gentlelady from minnesota deserves to be heard. ms. mccollum: thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady will suspend one more minute. the gentlelady from minnesota is recognized. ms. mccollum: thank you, mr. speaker. this is the final amendment to the bill which does not kill the bill or send it back to committee. if adopted it will immediately proceed to final passage as amended. this bill is about coal ash. coal ash is a toxic substance. it contains lead,cy len yum, mercury, and arsenic. coal ash is a deadly poison and it must be kept out of america's drinking water. this bill needlessly puts millions of americans at risk by doing nothing to prevent coal ash from contaminating ground
water, surface water, and the greatest supply of fresh water on the earth, the great lakes. the great lakes provide drinking water to more than 30 million people. over 1.5 million jobs are connected -- >> mr. speaker, the house is not in order. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is correct. the jealts from minnesota will suspend until the houses -- the gentlelady from minnesota will suspend until the house comes to order. the house would again ask all members to please thick their conversations from the floor. irrespective of the members' conversation, would ask those members to take their seats so that the gentlelady can be heard. the gentlelady from minnesota is recognized. ms. mccollum: thank you again. over 1.5 million jobs are connected to the great lakes and more than $60 billion in annual wages. my amendment protects the great lakes from improper and dangerous storage of coal ash. this amendment requires all
disposal struck toors toe meet iteria for design, construction, operation, and maintenance sufficient to prevent contamination of surface and ground water. this amendment recognizes that the great lakes are unique. mayors and governors in eight states are working together to maintain this vital ecosystem and economy for families. businesses and future generations. even while this house considers n 80% cut to the great lakes restorative initiative. in addition, the federal government coordinates with our efforts to protect and serve and restore the great lakes with our partner, canada. the great united states has both a national and international interest in keeping these lakes clean and safe. protecting the great lakes should be a priority for this congress. i am certain it's a priority for the 30 million people who drink great lakes water. without this amendment they will
be at risk of drinking cancer-causing toxins. right now coal ash is placed in unlined ponds, some that are leaking, leeching, and spilling into our soils, lakes, rivers, and aquifers. block near milwaukee, a collapsed sending a utility company's coal ash directly into lake michigan. residents could no longer drink their local water because of severe health risk imposed by the coal ash. should a utility company be able to store tons and tons of coal ash in an unregulated ravine? the answer is simply no. unless congress changes how coal ash is stored, the great lakes and america's drinking water will continue to be at risk. congress can do something right here, right now by passing this amendment. if you want clean and safe drinking water, vote for this amendment. if you want to protect the great lakes, vote for this amendment. and if you want to protect recreation, manufacturing, and service jobs, vote for this amendment. if you have the courage to stand
up to the polluters and say no longer will i allow coal ash to be inadvertently put in our drinking water, causing cancer for millions of americans, vote for this amendment. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois rise? mr. shimkus: i withdraw my point of order and claim time in opposition. the speaker pro tempore: the without objection is withdrawn. the house will be in order before the gentleman from illinois is recognized for five minutes. the gentleman from illinois is recognized. mr. shimkus: mr. speaker, the basic premise of this bill is the federal government can set safety standards and the states can enforce it. so i'm going to turn -- reject the motion to instruct. i'm going to turn my comments to people who live in the coal areas of our country. coal is just not a commodity product. it's really a way of lifestyle if you live in coal country.
i'm a fourth generation lithuanian immigration family. my great grandfather went directly into the coal fields. my grandfather went into the coal mines at age 10. he performed the job of a trapper. in my hometown we have miners theater, in the community up north we have miners park. and in illinois we have black diamond day. coal is a culture. coal is who we are. and that's why i appreciate my colleagues from west virginia, david mckinley and shelley moore capito, there are some states in this union that coal is their only job. and that's why they fight and they stand up for coal. i remember being with the late senator byrd on a rally on the mall on a rally to save coal jobs. he held up his hand, he says,
there's coal in these veins. this is senator byrd. there's coal in these veins. my colleague and my friends, that's how we feel until coal producing states in this country. it is part of who we are. it is our culture. don't think this is a passe debate. there's a young iraqi vet, named jimmy rose, you may have seen him, 32 years old, he's also a coal miner. he's competing on america -- on "america's got talent." you know what his song is? his song is "coal keeps the lights on." he talks about feeding his family. he talks about putting clothes on their -- in the family household. he talks about that's their livelihood, that's their culture. it's an impassioned ballad for areas of our country that feel under attack. left behind.
attacked by this administration. the mayor from queens burro, illinois, coal is keeping the lights on in the small communities and shops and stores for a community that's been left behind for 40 years. he's excited about the jobs and the tax base that's coming because of coal. i'm asking you, my colleagues torques stand up for coal. -- my colleagues, to stand up for coal. because coal keeps the lights on. i request you reject this amendment and support the underlying bill and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. without objection, the previous question is order ordered. the question is on the motion to recommit. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. ms. mccollum: i request a recorded vote, please. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from minnesota requests a recorded vote. a recorded vote is requested. those favoring a recorded vote will rise.
a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. pursuant to clause 8 and clause 9 of rule 20, this five-minute vote on the motion to recommit will be followed by five-minute votes on the question on passage of the bill, if ordered, and the question on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal, if ordered. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 192, the nays are 25 with one voting present. -- the nays are 225 with one voting present. the motion is not adopted. the question is on passage. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the gentleman from california. mr. waxman: on that i request a recorded vote. the speaker pro tempore: a recorded vote is requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this will be a five-minute vote.
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 265, the nays are 155, the ayes have it. the bill is passed. without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, the unfinished business is the question on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal which the chair will put de novo. the question is on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it and the journal stands approved. for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois seek recognition? >> thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and to include he can trainious material on h.r. 2218 --
the speaker pro tempore: the chair will receive a message. matt: mr. speaker, a message from the senate. the secretary: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: madam secretary. the secretary: i have been directed by the senate to inform the house that the senate has assed hrment r. 109 it -- h.r. .092
the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from maryland seek recognition? mr. hoyer: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to speak out of order for one minute for the purposes of inquiring of the majority leader, mr. cantor of virginia, the schedule for the week to come. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. hoyer: thank you. i yield to my friend, mr. cantor. mr. cantor: i thank the gentleman. i thank the gentleman from maryland shall the democratic whip, for yielding. mr. speaker, on monday, the house is not in session. on tuesday, the house will meet at noon for morning hour and 2:00 p.m. for legislative business. votes will be postponed until 6:30 p.m. on wednesday and thursday the house will meet at 10:00 a.m.
for morning hour and noon for legislative business. on friday, the house will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business. last votes of the week are expected no later than 3:00 p.m. mr. speaker, the house will consider a number of bills under suspension of the rules, a complete list of which will be announced by close of business tomorrow. yesterday, mr. speaker, the senate acted on the student loan bill. the house passed last month, and i expect the house to deal with it promptly next week. in addition, i expect to consider -- mr. speaker, the house is not in order. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is correct. the house is not in order. please take your conversations off the floor. mr. cantor: i expect -- thank you, mr. speaker. in addition i expect to consider h.r. 2610, the fiscal year 2014 transportation, housing, and urban development appropriations act authored by representative tom latham. mr. speaker, members are advised that the house will begin consideration of this bill on tuesday afternoon and should be
prepared to offer amendments at that appropriate time in the reading of the bill. members are further advised that the 6:30 p.m. vote series that day could be longer than normal. for the remainder of the week, mr. speaker, the house will consider a number of bills to restrain a run away government and reempower our citizens. to stop government abuse and protect the middle class, we will first bring a number of bipartisan bills to the floor under suspension of the rules on wednesday. following that, we will debate two bills pursuant to rules focusing again on stopping government abuse and protecting the middle class. the first, h.r. 367, the rains act, sponsored by representative todd young, requires congressional approval of regulation that costs over $100 million. the second, h.r. 2009, the keep i.r.s. off your health care act, sponsored by representative tom price, prevents the i.r.s. from implementing any portion of
obamacare. when federal bureaucrats abuse their power and waste taxpayer dollars, liberty is eroded, the economy is slowed, and the rule of law betrayed. i thank the gentleman. i yield back. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for his information. i don't see on the schedule, mr. speaker, that we are going to a budget kfers -- conference, at least there is no notice of the majority leader of that fact. mr. speaker, as you know we are critical umber of deadlines. it has now been 125 days since the house passed a budget, and 123 days since the senate passed a budget. on issue after issue, our republican colleagues, mr. speaker, have passed bills and then refused to negotiate. mr. speaker, it's past time for action. we should go to conference and reach an agreement. i would urge my friend, mr. majority leader, mr. speaker, to
go to conference. now, one of his colleagues, mr. speaker, from virginia, said this, i am proudly on record about this. i believe we need to go to conference. speaking of the budget. this member went on to say, i have listened carefully to the argument that we should not go to conference, and frankly i do not find it compelling. mr. speaker, that was representative scott rigell of virginia. i would ask my friend, the majority leader, does the gentleman expect that we will go to conference at all on the budget? i yield to my friend. mr. cantor: mr. speaker, i thank the gentleman for his tenacity as is this is a weekly discussion between he and me. and i'm delighted to respond to say to the gentleman, mr. speaker, that it is something that we should commit ourselves to working out.
but as the gentleman knows, the position of the majority is, we don't want to enter into discussions if the prerequisite is, you have to raise taxes. and the gentleman has heard me every week on this issue in that we believe strongly, you fix the problem of overspending, you reform the programs needing reform to address unfunded liabilities first. then if the gentleman is insistent that the taxpayers need to pay more of their hard-earned dollars into washington, that discussion, perhaps, is appropriate. but as a prerequisite to entering budget talks that we agree to raise taxes is not something i think that the american people want this body to engage in. i yield back. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for his comment. mr. speaker, the gentleman's premise is absolutely incorrect. the american people ought to know that. the senate has voted to go to conference.
the senate wants -- they haven't voted to go to conference because the republican members of the united states senate won't vote to go to conference. there was nothing in that motion, however, that said there was a prerequisite that the house agree to anything, mr. speaker. nothing. now, my friend, the majority leader, mr. speaker, has said repeatedly that we have a prerequisite. we have a difference of opinion. that's what democracy is about. there's no prerequisite. there's no precondition. there's no condition preceding as we lawyers say of going to conference, number one, the senate couldn't make us agree. that's what conferences are about, mr. speaker. they are about coming together and understanding there are differences. there would be no need for a conference if there weren't differences. there are differences. we are $91 billion apart, mr. speaker, on our budgets. we are 14 days away from the end
of this fiscal year, mr. speaker, in terms of legislative days available to us to get to a compromise, to get to a number, to get to some understanding of how we are going to ensure that government operations continue. there's no prerequisite. there's no precondition. i don't know where that comes from, mr. speaker. i have heard it a lot. i have no idea where it comes from. can ng the senate does force this body, republicans or democrats, to do something. what they have asked is come to the table and talk. there has been a refusal to do that, mr. speaker. and it's bad for the country. $91 billion difference between us on budgets has to be resolved somehow, some way, and the way democracies do it and the way
the legislature does it, mr. speaker, is to meet to try to resolve those differences. you could divide the differences in half. the senate comes down 46, we go up 45. my own view is, mr. ryan believes there is nothing that he will agree to. i'll get to that later, mr. speaker. that's why we are not going to conference and he said so in the paper. didn't say it about the conference, but i'll get to his quote in a second. now let me ask the gentleman, the majority leader, mr. speaker, mentioned that if he had the appropriation bill on the floor -- the t hud -- t-hud appropriation bill is on the floor next week. so far exmr. speaker, we are now at the end of the session essentially, before the august break, coming next week on friday. and we have done four appropriation bills. the house t-hud bill, which the
majority leader speaks, mr. below the budget control act that we agreed on. not only that, mr. speaker, it's % below the sequester level. now, we are not going to vote for it, mr. speaker. we believe it it badly underfunds transportation, housing, infrastructure in this country. but this performance makes no sense considering the lack of regular order. we talked about regular order. we don't follow it. going to conference is regular order. it doesn't change the fact, however, that we just have 14 days left to go, and then we need to reach agreement. i will tell my friend, the majority leader, mr. speaker, that we are willing to work together. we have been willing to compromise. we have compromised. in every one of these agreements we have reached we have
compromised. my friend, the majority leader, would say, yes, and they have as well. but you cannot compromise if you don't sit down. i won't tell you, nobody has called me to ask me how i believe we can get to the end of this year with a continuing resolution. nobody's asked me that. i talked to mr. ryan. mr. ryan -- i talked to mr. van hollen. mr. ryan has not talked to mr. van hollen. with all due respect to this discussion about their talking, they are not talking. i talked to senator murray. no discuss how we resolve the differences. i talked to the chair of the appropriations committee, both the ranking member here, mrs. lowey, and the chair on the senate side, senator mikulski. nobody's talking to them about how we resolve the question at the end of next month. and we won't be here at the end of next month. we are in session two weeks in september. , but we use a quote
should not pass a continuing resolution, and will i not vote for a continuing resolution unless we talk about preconditions. preconditions for going to conference. talk about preconditions, talk about demands and ultimatums. i will not vote for a continuing resolution unless it defunds obamacare. for the period of time of the continuing resolution. nobody in america believes that's going to be done. a lot of people i know the majority leader would tell me, want it done. we had an election. the president won. he won't sign the defunding of obamacare. because he believes it's in the best interest of the health of our people and the welfare of our country. yes, even job creation and
economic growth. but mark rubio says he won't vote for continuing resolution unless it does something. it's not going to happen. the majority leader, mr. speaker, said they weren't going to go to conference. another ultimatum, unless the senate abandon its point of view. the senate has a right to its point of view. we have a right to our point of view. we need to discuss it. that's the way you get things done in democracy, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i want to ask the majority leader does the gentleman expect that we will go to conference at all, at any time on the budget? i yield to my friend. mr. cantor: mr. speaker, i thank the gentleman for yielding. appreciate his question. and also just would note for the record that i believe, if i have my facts correct, that during the time that the gentleman was in the majority leader last, the last congress, i think it was
111, 48 times there was a -- an avoidance of gg to conference. so all of a sudden now the gentleman says that that's the panacea. i would tell the gentleman, given his litany of examples of who is talking to whom around here, there is a lot of talk about how we resolve our differences. in fact i do know that chairman ryan is talking with chairman murray across the capital about how we go forward, but i would underscore again to the gentleman that it is not our intention to discuss taking more hard-earned taxpayer dollars from americans while we have not fixed the problem they expect us to fix. i'd also say to the gentleman, as far as appropriations bills are concerned, he's correct, i did announce that the t-hud bill will be coming to the floor neck week and it will be the fifth bill that we will doll prior -- next week, and it will be the fifth bill that we will do prior to the august work period. i will remind the gentleman that when he was last in the position of the majority, the
appropriations bills did not come to the floor in under an open process. in fact, there were structured rules on every one, if again my memory serves me well, and much easier to shut out diverse opinion, but instead the speaker, has this congress, insisted that we have an open process and allow for robust debate on some of the very difficult issues. and the gentleman knows we have been true to that word. so i remind the gentleman that, yes, there is a commitment to open process. there is a commitment here to try and resolve these challenges before us. the gentleman is correct. we are going to have a very busy fall trying to address the needs of this country whether it is suspending and budget needs, or whether it is the needs of the middle class families who are struggling out there every single day wondering when the economy is going to pick up. wondering what's going to happen to their health care.
we have a looming obamacare law that already, the administration has admitted, is threatening job growth, therefore they offer relief to businesses, but refuse to do so for working people. we don't think that's too fair. we have democratic union leaders who have said that this law is going to provide and has already created nightmare scenarios for millions of working americans he so far as their health care and economic well-being is concerned. . there are real issues to be resobbed, mr. speaker, and i do hope that -- resolved, mr. speaker, and do i hope that the gentleman will abide by what he's always been for and that is solving problems. i do hope he will work with us to do that in the coming months and i yield back. mr. hoyer: mr. speaker, i appreciate the gentleman's recitation of history. let me remind him, the first year i was majority leader, all 12 appropriation bills passed
the house prior to the august break. all 12. that also happened the third year. didn't happen the second year, when we had a lot of political delays and the reason we went to structured rules, as the gentleman i'm sure recalls, is because we had filibuster by amendment. we had delay and obstruction in 2007 just as we have delay and obstruction today. just as there is a refusal today, mr. speaker, to go to conference. over 120 days after both houses have passed their budgets, we still have refused to go to conference. that is why you can't get agreement and the gentleman characterizes -- i think mr. ryan has talked to mrs. murray and i will tell you, senator murray doesn't believe it was a very long discussion or a very substantive discussion because -- and you talk about mr. ryan, i've got a quote of his i know
you'll like that i want to get to. because it makes the point i was making. i was going to make it a little later. paul ryan when asked about senate republicans planned to work with democrats to address the debt ceiling said this, quote, it doesn't matter. we're not going to do what they want to do. i.e. senate republicans. it really doesn't matter what they do, they being senate republicans. it doesn't matter what john mccain and others do on the taxes and the rest. if they want to give up taxes for the sequester, we're not going to do that. so that doesn't really affect us. but oh, it does affect us. because, mr. speaker, if we can't get agreement those
american folks of which the majority leader just spoke, who are looking for jobs, who want to see this economy grow, who are suffering because of gridlock, who are -- have a lack of confidence because this congress does not work, the most dysfunctional congress in which i have served and i've been here 33 years. the least productive congress in which i've served. mr. speaker, that's what we need to be doing. mike lee, another republican, mr. speaker, in the senate talking about trying to get to agreement. if republicans of both houses simply refused, this is their strategy, mr. speaker, if republicans in both houses simply refuse to vote for any, any continuing resolution that contains further funding for further enforcement of obamacare -- i understand the gentleman's opposed to it.
he was opposed to it before the election. mr. romney was opposed to it. we have an election. you didn't win that argument at the national level. mr. speaker, i say that mr. obama won that argument. but senator lee says he will not it includes . if further funding for further enforcement of obamacare. we can stop it. we can stop the individual mandate from going into effect. how? by shutting down government. that's their strategy. we don't think that's a good strategy, mr. speaker. we think that's a bad strategy. we don't want to see that. we're prepared to work together to compromise to do that. but nobody believes, just as the gentleman has said he's not going to agree to tax increases, i understand what he's saying, so we'll have to compromise on that. somewhere along the road, when we sit down. but nobody believes that either we on this side are going to
compromise or that the president's going to compromise after an election, after being re-elected. a health care program that is benefiting millions and millions of people right now. nobody believes we're going to compromise on that. 39 times we've tried to repeal it in one form or another. it's failed. we got to come to grips with that. now, one of the house members, rick mulvaney from south carolina, said, it is completely appropriate to use the debt ceiling or the c.r. to ask for some changes that reduce the burdens of this law on americans. now, they've offered that 38, 39 times. it's not going to happen. but apparently the strategy is, we're prepared to shut down vernment unless they will be bludgeoned into agreeing by
doing it our way. if we don't do it our way, apparently we're not going to do it any way. that's what the budget conference is about and that's what this debate seems to be about. now, senator toomey on the other hand said this, mr. speaker, this has been the way we've been operating for a couple of years now. former chair of the club for growth said, it's a disaster. it's a terrible way to run government. he and i don't always agree, but we agree very emphatically on that. former chairman of the republican committee described the latest shutdown threat, which is what the previous three , he ers had indicated, described the latest shutdown -- indicated, he described the
latest shutdown as, quote, the latest equivalent of throwing a temper tantrum. that's the chairman of the republican campaign committee, mr. speaker. not me. we need to get past this -- you won't do this, i won't do do that, and figure out what we will do. and we have 14 days to do it. we haven't gotten it done yet. frankly, we have nothing on the calendar for next week that shows that we're moving towards that end. i would hope very sincerely that we can come to agreement. and we're not going to come to agreement on something that was so hard-fought for the last five years, we know that. we know you're probably not going to raise taxes, i tell my friend, the majority leader, mr. speaker. but the fact of the matter is that we need to come to agreement. the americans expect us to come to agreement. with so few legislative days remaining before the fiscal year ends, and the fact that we must
address it, i hope the gentleman can give us some clarity as to what members can expect on the floor in september, for the nine days we're here in september, since we're so far off course from regular order on the budget and the appropriations schedule. can members expect to see a c.r. and if so, does the gentleman have any idea, mr. speaker, what the c.r. will look like, what it will encompass, what we can expect? i want to say to my friend that we democrats are prepared to cooperate in that effort. we're not going to -- the gentleman clearly knows that we're not going to repeal the health care act. the election we think decided it. speaker boehner said that it decided it. after the election he said, well, the health care law's been confirmed. but i want to make it clear that we are willing to do some things. we're not willing, however, to
see sequester cripple policies that this congress has adopted. we're not willing to defund the affordable care act. we're not willing to sacrifice our economic recovery to push the cost of deficit reduction onto those who can least afford it. we are not willing to shift more of the tax burden onto the backs of the middle class. we're not willing to target medicare or medicaid. and education, for the deep cuts that were in the labor-health bill, which has now been pulled. we're not going to consider the labor-health bill. not on the schedule. it was supposed to be marked up today, it was pulled. so i say to the gentleman, mr. speaker, that he should, and his colleagues, be willing to compromise on the few legislative days that are remaining. if he is, he will have a willing democrats. e and in because we believe that we need to come to an agreement. lastly, let me speak of the debt ceiling.
the majority leader, mr. peaker, has made it very clear he thinks not resolving the debt ceiling would be a bad policy for our country. in fact, i believe it would be disastrous for our country, for the economy, for every american and for people around the world. we all know that what happened last -- we all know what happened last time. we were downgraded. it's the majority party's responsibility in each house, in each house to make sure that america's credit worthiness is not put at risk. that we pay our bills. i'm hopeful and i want to tell my friend that i am prepared to work in tandem with the majority leader, mr. speaker, to pass a debt limit extension. we will do so in an equal way so that whatever political consequences there are, we will take them together, to do what the majority leader, mr. speaker, and the speaker and mr. mcconnell, the leader of the senate, have said is the
responsible thing to do. we're prepared to take half of that responsibility with them. we would hope that they would join us in that effort. senator mccain has said that some of my, and i quote, some of my republican colleagues are already saying we won't raise the debt limit, again, unless there's repeal of obamacare. senator mccain said, i'd love to repeal obamacare. he agrees with the majority leader, mr. speaker. but he goesen to say, but i promise you, that's not going to -- but he goes on to say, but i promise you, that's not going to happen, on the debt limit. the president's made it very clear it's not going it happen. we've made it very clear it's not going to happen. going on with senator mccain's quote, so some would like to set p another one of these shut- down-the-government threats and most americans are really tired of those kinds of shenanigans here in washington. that's senator mccain. i've quoted senators who believe
that we need to come to agreement. i've also unfortunately quoted congressman ryan who says he doesn't care what senator mccain thinks. who of course was a candidate for president on the republican ticket just a few years ago. mr. speaker, i want to ask the majority leader whether he expects we'll take an up or down vote on a clean debt limit extension when we return in september, and i yield to my friend. mr. cantor: i would say to the gentleman, the answer to that last question is no. but i would say to the gentleman , the discussion the gentleman ust had was so full of different and various sundry issues, i don't even know where to begin other than to say what i think is lost in the gentleman's comments. is the focus on the hardworking families and businesses of middle class america. and it seems to me, mr. speaker,
that the gentleman is full of that's not going to happen because washington says that's not going to happen for political reasons. and what we ought to be focused on is how we can act to solve the anxiety that seems to continue to grow on the part of the american public when they wonder about their job, they worry about their tuition costs, they worry about their children's education, they worry every night when they go to bed. and the gentleman is so sure that we can and can't do things for political reasons. the president is out giving campaign speeches, some of which we have heard dozens of times during the campaign season, that what all of us should be absolutely focused on is coming together not for political imperative, but to solve the problems, to provide the relief
to the middle class of this country that is asking us to do that. so instead of the political demands and imperatives that the gentleman's list of issues was about, let's focus on the people that sent us here. let's make sure that this body of any in washington can begin to work for the people rather than the other way around. i yield back. mr. hoyer: i've heard that answer i think more than the president's given the speeches, mr. cantor -- that mr. cantor refers to. this party has always been, is now and will be focused on the working people to which the majority leader refers. the president asked us to pass a jobs bill. no jobs bill has been brought to this floor. i know that there's some bills that the republican party leader wants to say, mr. speaker, are
jobs bills. but there's been no comprehensive jobs bill. there's none scheduled for next week. what the american people are really concerned about is their board of directors is not working. this isn't about washington. this is about people who voted all over america. nd the leader and his party his party made a point and we had an election. not here in washington. ll over america. and america voted and it hasn't made a difference on this floor. politics as usual. confrontation as usual. refusal to compromise as usual. talk about regular order but not going to conference, not going to conference on a budget, not going to conference on a farm bill, not going to conference on the violence against women act.
. finally passed that so when the majority leader talks about we want to focus on working people, he's absolutely right. we do want to focus on that. and the american people voted. they didn't all vote for my side because i told the majority leader last week, 1, 400,000 of them, more of them voted for our side than his side but his side is in charge. we understand that and we know we need to compromise. we know we need to work together, but we haven't been doing so. and he can talk as much as he wants. that's what the american people believe as well, i'd tell my friend, the majority leader. i asked him about the debt limit, he said no. mr. cantor: mr. speaker, if the gentleman will yield? -- will the gentleman yield?
mr. hoyer: a clean debt limit extension was not coming to the floor. . cantor: in september, yes, mr. speaker. mr. hoyer: i appreciate the majority leader's comment. can he tell me when there will be a clean debt limit extension after september? because i tell the gentleman again, i want to repeat so he knows, his party knows and america knows, we're prepared to work with the majority party to do in a bipartisan way what every leader believes is the responsible action to take. one of his predecessors, senator roy blunt, said in responding to whether we ought to risk default by not passing a debt limit, he said this, no, i don't support that. i think holding the debt limit hostage -- in other words, if you don't do the debt limit, we're not going to do this, that or the other. or said another way, if you don't repeal obamacare, we'll
let the country default. senator blunt, again, one of his predecessors, i don't support that. i think holding the debt limit hostage to any specific thing is probably not the best negotiating place. now, i thank my friend for his comment, mr. speaker, and i would again ask him could we expect a clean debt limit extension at some point in time between september 30 and november 15? and i yield to my friend. mr. cantor: mr. speaker, i'd say to the gentleman, it is our hope that we can work together across the aisle to solve the problems, to come up with the answers as to how we are going to pay back the additional debt that we'll have to incur in this country. and i think whatever budget you look at, their side or our side, mr. speaker, calls for the curns of additional debt --
occurrence of additional debt. the object should ble the need for us not to incur that debt so we can relieve the american people of that contingent liability, and our side has said we'd like to do so within the next 10 years to bring the budget to balance. and i hope that the gentleman will join us in that spirit rather than saying we should just continue to borrow into eternity without some recognition that that just can't be a sustainible solution either. so i'd say to -- sustainable solution either. so i'd say to the gentleman, when he talks about going to conference, and the things he said about vawa and the farm bill are inaccurate. the president nor the senate seems willing to respond. as i said before, mr. speaker, what we're trying to do is address the needs of the working people, the middle class of this country. we passed the skills act. that was a bill designed to try
and align the worker training programs at the federal level with the employment opportunities out there across the different regions of the country so we can respond to the fact there are hundreds of thousands of job openings in certain industries simply because our work force doesn't have the proper skills and training. the president, if he wanted to help the middle class families, instead of off campaigning again, giving the speeches, he could come and call up harry reid and the senate and say, bring that bill to the floor, mr. leader. we can do something for the american people. in the same vain, this house last week passed a bill which i believe, and i'm sure the gentleman shares my sentiment, that ultimately what we got to do to grow our economy and secure our economic future is to provide for quality education for our kids. we passed a landmark piece of legislation last week without any bipartisan support, mr. speaker. but, again, if the gentleman is so intent on wanting to help and wanting to do something,
not because of washington's needs, but because of what we got to do for the kids across this country and their families, then let's help try and forge an answer on re-authorizing the education bill. we also, mr. speaker, passed a bill that made it easier for working families to spend time with their kids and hold down a wage job, an hourly wage job. is there any movement on that? the president could certainly say, let's do that, let's proside some relief to the middle class. we also passed in the house, mr. speaker, several energy bills to help the families out there across this country who are on their vacations right now choking when they see the price of gas at the pump. we have bills. the president could go ahead and approve the keystone pipeline. where else in the world could you have an environmentally sensitive people other than in america? we do it cleaner and better than anyone, and to sit here and deny us the opportunity to take advantage of our
indigenous resources, all if does is cost our working families and businesses more money. we also have passed bills to allow for the safe and environmentally sensitive ways of going into our deep oceans, to go in and to tap into the resources that are there, things that technology has unleashed but yet the senate nor the president seems interested in helping the middle class and the working families because all we hear from the other side is what we can and can't do politically here in washington. i'd say to the gentleman, there that we of things can get done together. let's start to focus on the people of this country, not the political imperatives of this institution. and i yield back. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for that response, which i took as a no, which didn't indicate that we could expect to see bipartisan work on making sure that the government pays its bills that
have already been incurred. no, there was a lot of rhetoric, and there was a lot of recitation, mr. speaker, about bills. all those bills have something in common. do it my way or no way. and we had an election. i tell the gentleman again. he knows that. they thought they were going to take the senate. they didn't. ajority of the senate is democrats, and the president of the united states was re-elected. and the house, republican majority was returned, but that didn't mean the american people didn't expect us to work together. and i tell the gentleman, i'm not sure what era he thought i made. we did not go to conference on the violence against women act. mr. cantor: mr. speaker, if the gentleman will yield. mr. hoyer: i'd be glad to yield. mr. cantor: there was no vehicle to go to conference, as the gentleman recalls.
there was a blue slip on the senate bill, mr. speaker, and so we took up the bill in the house and went ahead and passed the bill. so i don't even know why that is even pertinent to this discussion, mr. speaker, and i'd also say the gentleman understands as well, there was a bipartisan farm bill that came to the floor. and if i recall, that bipartisanship faded away which is what now then caused the house to bring up another farm bill. and this time trying to be transparent in the process, brought up the agricultural policy piece which has passed the house without any bipartisan support, mr. speaker, and then we are also -- the gentleman knows -- engaged in discussions with the chairman of the agriculture committee as to forging a consensus on a nutrition piece so that we can, yes, act again on that. so i'd say, mr. speaker, to the gentleman, it is not accurate that we don't intend to eventually go to conference and iron out the differences between the house and the senate on both of those issues,
on the ag policy as well as the nutrition policy and i yield back. mr. hoyer: i didn't talk about intentions. i talked about fact. talked about fact. pete sessions, chairman of the rules committee, republican, said this. when we passed the farm bill, i believe that this is an honest step to get us to go by passing part of the farm bill to go to conference. i asked the gentleman last week, i ask him again, there's nothing in here about going to conference. the gentleman said we will not go to conference until we pass something on the nutrition part. we want to see something on the nutrition piece pass. pete sessions said in addition to that when talking about why they brought the farm bill to the floor in the condition it was dropping all reference and provisions for poor people to have nutritional assistance said this, we're attempting to separate, bifurcate, offer a
rule and the underlying legislation which hopefully will pass which will go to conference. and the senate, because they passed their own farm bill, has included its provisions where they discuss the nutrition program. as a result of that -- this is pete sessions, republican chair of the rules committee, mr. speaker, as a result of that, that should be in their bill in the conference measure. the house simply at this point, if we pass this part, could go to conference. so the gentleman is not accurate when he reflects there's nothing to go to conference on. the senate has amended their bill into the house bill. we could clearly go to conference on that. under the processes. i think the gentleman must know that. and that was the expectation that pete session says in passing the farm bill. -- pete sessions says in passing the farm bill.
shortly that's the case on the budget, my opinion, it's the case certainly only the budget -- i don't know what the intentions are, but the fact is we haven't gone to conference on the farm bill and we didn't go to conference on the violence against women bill. the fact is what those bills he mentioned did have in common is, mr. speaker, and he said we got no democratic votes for it. there was no work to get democratic votes. there was no work for compromise. that, i tell my friend, why the polls reflect a working people such concern. the majority, mr. speaker, talked a lot about confidence, talked a lot about building confidence if we were going to grow the economy. i agree with him. we need to have individual confident. and the gentleman knows, because he talks to a lot of business leaders, as i do, every one of them says if they have confidence that we could work together and get things done, not put the debt limit at
risk, not put the ongoing operations of government at risk, not continue to have fights -- i talked to a major leader of one of the health insurers in this country and said, look, we may not like some in this bill but it's the law and we are going to work to try to make it work for all americans. we're not doing that, mr. speaker. trying to repeal. we're not conferencing. we're not cooperating. we're not trying to come to compromise. and we can talk about working people, as is appropriate for us to do, and that's what the president is out doing. not here in washington. not talking to all of us. he's talking to the people and saying, look, this is my program. this is what i want to do. and i'm not getting cooperation from the congress of the united states. i think he's absolutely right, and he's talking to the people, not to us, not here in washington, but he's criticized for doing that by the majority
leader. mr. speaker, i think that's what he ought to be doing, because the american people ultimately going to have to make a decision as to who is looking out for their interests and who is just simply confronting and not listening to the people in the last election just a few months ago or right now when the people are saying, board of directors work together. stop obstructing. would hope we could do that, mr. speaker. unless the majority leader has something further he wants to say, i'm going to yield back the balance of my time. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia seek recognition? mr. cantor: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that when the house adjourns today it adjourn to meet at 10:00 a.m. tomorrow, and further when the house adjourns on that day it adjourn to meet on tuesday, july 30, 2013, when it shall convene at
noon for morning hour debate and 2:00 p.m. for legislative business. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, request unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend. mr. faleomavaega: without objection, the gentleman is recognized -- the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. . mr. thompson: mr. speaker, the anniversary for the national council for independent living. it is the leading organization for people with disabilities. 32 years ago i began my career and life passion serving individuals who are living with life-changing disability. i'm proud to be one of the 214 co-sponsors of the achieving of a better life experience act, the able act will ease the financial strains for individuals with disabilities. i'm also proud to be the author of the special needs trust fairness act of 2013. this legislation removes the current barriers that prevents individuals with disabilities from independently creating a special needs trust.
we're talking about -- what we're talking about is individual independence and making sure that public policy is a tool, not a barrier in achieving this goal. -- a barrier, in achieving this goal. i want to thank the council for their service. we will accomplish independence, dignity and success for individuals living with disabilities. thank you, mr. speaker, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. veasey: mr. speaker, i want to take this time to thank congresswoman eleanor norton holmes yesterday for pulling together the first meeting of the caucus for -- on black men and boys. as we know, by the trayvon martin verlander -- verdict, and
his dad also participated in this year, that we need to do something about the violence that is happening and that occurs all too often, particularly with many young african-american boys in our communities. black boys in our communities face daily obstacles, including run-ins with the police, high rates of unemployment, racial profiling and extreme prosecution that leads to overincarceration in the community. as a black man, i can attest to what president obama said in his recent speech, that trayvon martin could have been me. african-american men have lived an experience of being stereotyped and profiled in other ways that most people have never had to endure and really can never understand. mr. speaker, it is our job as legislators to develop policies that create a level playing field so everyone can succeed. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman rom virginia seek recognition?
without objection, the gentleman s recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, yesterday the house passed important legislation, the defense appropriations bill. this bill prohibits furloughs on employees serving our department of defense in fiscal year 2014. these employees are now in their third week of furloughs. this week we heard from undersecretary of defense comptroller bob hale about the adverse impacts which are expected to worsen if furloughs continue. his message made clear the harm furloughs have already had on our force readiness. mr. wittman: he echo what had i am hearing from my constituents who i talk to on a daily basis. these people are dispointed and frustrated they cannot support the war fighter and are fearful of an unknown future. while it may be too late for the 11 days of furlough through september, congress has the opportunity, and i believe the obligation, to get this important provision, prohibiting
furloughs, signed into law as soon as possible. and i urge the senate to join the house in passing this important measure. and with that, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from tennessee seek recognition? mr. cohen: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute, revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. cohen: thank you, mr. speaker. on monday, the 29th, will be the fifth anniversary of the passage in this house of the first and only apology for slavery and jim crow laws in this nation's history. this nation had 2246 years of -- 246 years of slavery and over 100 years of jim crow. the resolution which passed with only two republican sponsors said that we needed to rectify the lingering consequences of slavenry and jim crow and indeed we still need to -- slavery and jim crow and indeed we still need to. there are many areas in the criminal justice system with
racial profiling, more likelihood of being arrested, four times as much if you're african-american than white, for marijuana, and sentencing, given if you're african-american. the needs for public health and public education and for jobs are significant and a much less net worth of african-americans, all vestiges of jim crow and slavery. as we look toward the fifth anniversary of that resolution and the 50th anniversary of the march on washington, both sides of this aisle need to look toward the least of these, people who have been discriminated against and enslaved by our nation's laws and rectify those lingering consequences. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute, revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. for allowing me to speak today. it is an honor and a privilege to take some time to recognize
one of my constituents. last month oakland county circuit judge michael warren was honored with the americanism award from the daughters of the american revolution of michigan. the award states that it was presented to judge warren in recognition of outstanding accomplishments and contributions for his tireless work in promoting patriotism for the american people. mr. bentvolio: especially through patriot week. our country is an exceptional nation because of what happened in 1776. we need more people teaching the history of our founding and promoting patriotism. judge warren is doing a great job in michigan and he's a great example that should be followed nationwide. thank you, mr. speaker, i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: thank you. for what purpose does the gentlelady from new york seek to be recognized? without objection, the
gentlelady is recognized for one minute. >> thank you so much, mr. speaker. today i rise in honor of july 20, which is a special day of remembrance for the families and loved ones of all those who have suffered so greatly as a result of one of the biggest national tragedies in modern greek history. he 1974 illegal invasion and occupation of the isles of cyprus by turkish soldiers. mrs. maloney: it happened 39 years ago this week. the invasion forced nearly thousands of greek cypriots to leave their homes and the occupied area and become refugees in their own country. their religious and cultural sites were damaged and destroyed. their religious freedoms restricted. and their rights disrespected. in violation of international law, the turkish soldiers remained there still, occupying more than 1/3 of the island.
they ignore all the u.n. resolutions pertaining to cyprus and there have been many passed. as the co-chair and co-founder of the congressional hellenic caucus, i have worked diligently with my colleagues in the caucus and out of mutual concern for the continued division and occupation of cyprus. and we continue to work with the caucus to raise awareness of the cyprus problem and the role the u.s. can play to support the negotiations. the people of cyprus deserve a unified and democratic country and we are working towards that end. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from alabama seek recognition? >> to address the house for one minute, revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, it's an honor to stand here and talk about the 20,000 babies that are born each year in the united states with muscular dystrophy. mr. bachus: this is one of those
children. gabe griffin of birmingham. as he grows into adulthood, his muscle development will be arrested if we don't make progress. s parents, scott and tracy griffin of birmingham, and joel and dana woods, and other parents, not of him but of another young man, are working hard here for progress, for research. the f.d.a. is now considering whether to grant accelerated approval to a potentially break-through therapy. it's a drug. while properly take noon account, it is important for the f.d.a. to make a timely decision on this drug. when you look at this picture, you know that gabe and other children don't have a long time. let's not rob them of a healthy childhood and a healthy lifestyle. let's do everything we can to urge the f.d.a. to research the
drug and make it available to the general public. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute, revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, president obama yesterday pivoted to jobs or has been reported during another campaign-style speech at knox college in illinois. during his hour-long speech, we heard no new ideas. instead, president obama battened down the hatches on his economic policies. meanwhile, the federal reserve bank of new york recently reported that more than 50% of recent college graduates are either unemployed or underemployed. mr. rothfus: unfortunately president obama's economic policies have failed the class of 2013.
since he took office, president obama has never really pivots to -- pivoted to jobs. instead, he's always pivoted to big government. what's really grown over the last four years is president obama's washington. it's a big government boomtown. in contrast, the house has passed several pieces of legislation that would enable job growth. let me name just a few. the skills act. the keystone pipeline. and expanded offshore domestic energy production. if the president and the senate would like to get serious about job creation, let me suggest they go to www.gop.gov/jobs. unless the president truly pivots away from big government, we won't see real economic recovery until the class of 2017 graduates. i thank the speaker and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: i thank the gentleman. under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2013, the gentleman from texas, mr. gohmert, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader.
mr. gohmert: thank you, mr. speaker. it is an honor and a privilege to be here and to speak and at this time i do want to yield such time as he may consume to my friend from kentucky, mr. whitfield. mr. wittman: i want to thank -- mr. whitfield: i want to thank the gentleman very much. yesterday the president made a speech at knox college in illinois. and in that speech he categorized republican members of congress in three groups. he said there was a group of republicans who agreed with him on his policy but were afraid to
vote for him, did not have the courage to vote with him. he also said that another republicans are those that, because it was his idea, are opposed to it. and then the third group of republicans, he said, were those who have a view of the world that inequality and injustice is inevitable. and i was a little bit offended by that categorization and i wanted to take a few moments today to explain to the american in le specifically why many our conference oppose the president on some of his economic policies, particularly, and on his energy policies particularly. i want to preface my remarks by saying, when the president was
elected, the first thing that he focused on was transforming america's electricity policy. and his number one goal was to produce more green energy through solar panels and wind energy. and he spent billions of dollars on that through the stimulus package, much of the money going to venture capital friends of his, wealthy supporters of his, like mr. kyser of oklahoma on the solyndra project. and in addition to that, the 1603 treasury program that gives grants to certain green energy projects, the 1703 and 1705 programs at the department of energy. now, that was the focus of the president. and that was the part of his stimulus package that was going to get the economy back on
track. while i would like to remind people that in june, just this ast june, we lost in america 240,000 full-time jobs. the last quarter of 2012 and the , our uarter of 2013 growth in gross domestic product was only, in fact, it was not even 2%, it was below 2%. and for the past 15 quarters, our gross domestic product has increased only a little over 2%, the weakest growth since orld war ii, in america. now for this year, 2013, we've reated 750,000 new jobs, but
557,000 of those were part-time jobs. now, why is that happening and why are we losing full-time jobs? well, under the president's affordable care act, or as some , any call it, obamacare employer that has 50 or more ployees and they work more than 30 hours a week, he's going to have to provide health coverage for them and if they do not do so, they will be penalized with a monetary penalty. so the reality is what's happening is small business men and women in america are laying off their employees and making sure that they only work part time. so the president, focusing on green energy, encouraging small business men and women to lay off workers, that's precisely
why we have a sluggish economy today. now, the president says that he's for an all-of-the-above energy policy, and i would say to you that everyone on our side of the aisle supports an all-of-the-above energy policy, but after spending billions of dollars for renewables, the president has only been successful to a very limited degree. as a matter of fact, today renewables in america are creating only 500 million kilowatts a day. oal is producing 4.5 billion a day. gas, three billion a day. nuclear, two billion a day. so the president has jeopardized and created obstacles to economic growth because of his sole commitment
to renewable energy. now, like i said, we nude renewable energy, but this president -- now, we need renewable energy, but this president says and does another. he says he's for an all-of-the-above energy policy, and yet because of his actions and his administration's regulations, america is the only country in the world where ou cannot build a new coal power plant. and as a result of that we're losing jobs in that industry as ell. so i'd say to the president, his priorities are wrong. he's so focusing on fulfilling his political goals of changing the way electricity is produced in america and creating obstacles for economic growth at he's self-defeating our abilities to stimulate the
economy. and i'd emphasize once again we o need all-of-the-above energy policy. nuclear nd, solar, and coal. if we're going to get this economy going, we have to have electricity at a rate that we can afford in order to compete in the global marketplace, in order to get people to build plants in america, create jobs in america and move this country forward. so i would just say to the president, instead of focusing on categorizing republicans and who they are and what they are, he needs to get his priorities right and start focusing on economic growth and stop using stimulus funds to reward his friends in the joint venture capital business and his wealthy supporters and start helping us build an energy
policy that will work for america. and i want to thank the gentleman from texas for giving me a few minutes to talk about that issue. mr. gohmert: i thank my friend from kentucky. i had just seen an article that's really exclamation point really of what the gentleman was saying. the headline is, two americans added to food stamp rolls for administration says it created. i mean, how tragic. what an exclamation point on those facts that were laid out by my friend, mr. whitfield. thank you. news being reported today that attorney general eric holder has announced the opening of a new front in the battle for voting rights, at least so he
says, his brand, which is rather ironic because this administration and particularly the attorney general, the department of justice had talked about in essence how the supreme court had eviscerated the voting rights act and just rendered basically nothing by its terrible decision. and yet if you look at the words of the supreme court in that decision, the supreme ourt points out that the factual data does not bear out the attacks by this administration continuing on the states who had done wrong, years will, send back 50 ago. there was racial discrimination in this country at the time of the voting rights act, and
there is racial discrimination today but it has moved. the voting rights act has accomplished a great deal in our efforts to move toward equality of -- opportunity around the country, and so it has accomplished something that is good and very important to the country. but amazingly, when the voting rights act was extended and with support from people from both sides of the aisle, they decided, gee, since some of us have districts where there's now racial discrimination, even though the -- at least six of the states that were originally gone after in the south by the department of justice, they had better racial equality in
voting than the average for the entire country. and yet this administration decided our goal is to punish those states that did not vote for this president, we're going after these states, we're going to continue to punish them, we to be punitive to them, we're going to ignore areas like massachusetts where there's now more racial disparity than in at least six of the states, maybe all of them, in the south. but as i understood it, massachusetts unfortunately has moved not arena of being a state -- into the arena of being a state with racial disparity and yet the voting rights act did nothing to address those areas of the country where over the last 50 years discrimination has grown,
it's raised its ugly head and yet this administration said, no, we're too busy punishing states who corrected their problems and are doing so much better than the rest of the country. why? because we can. and actually that is the reason the voting rights act was extended without the gohmert amendment that would have made sure that the voting rights act applied across the country in racial where there was discrimination. but in a bipartisan manner, a majority forced the extension for 25 more years, which would mean -- i don't even recall who all was in office back when i was a little kid. i didn't know who was discriminating and who wasn't. i had no part in it.
and people who had no part of the discrimination that was going on back then, the discrimination that needed to be addressed, the discrimination that needed to e corrected, for some reason have people in a majority of places that voted to extend it, keep punishing areas that are no longer committing wrongs, no longer sinning, we want to keep punishing them because if we open it up and apply these same punitive things across the country and come up with a new formula, gee, we're not going to be able to keep punishing these areas for their since of 50, 60 years ago. we may have to punish our own states because racial disparity has grown there. so the supreme court did the proper thing legally, fairly and now we see this administration saying, oh, it
turns out we can use the voting rights act to continue to punish texas. why? because we can. because we want to. and so they're coming after , has announced today -- as announced today, again. you know, at some point i hope we get to the place that the president spoke of when he spoke at the democratic convention so eloquently alking about there's not a red america, blue america. we're just americans. i love that speech. i thought it was fantastic. it caused me to rise up and take notice. wow, this guy is saying the things i believe in. he's so right. and yet these policies have
been opposed. they have racially divided us. continuing to go after political enemies, continuing to have the administration, this administration's internal revenue service weaponized in a way that richard nixon and lyndon johnson could never have even dreamed they might could have done. so hopefully the courts -- the court to which the administration has gone in texas, will do the right thing. say, you know, mr. attorney general, we remember your comments about how you don't have the power really to do this any more since the supreme court struck section 4 down and so either we believe what you're saying now or we believe what you said out there after the supreme court decision. and that becomes a real problem when you have an attorney general that says different
things to different people, because the highest law enforcement officer in the country needs to be trusted. he needs to have respect and adherence for and to the law. we have an attorney general that's been held in contempt. he's been in contempt of congress. he's been in contempt of the law. he's been in contempt of the actual facts repeatedly. we need a different attorney general. to ked president bush appoint a new attorney general when there was a scandal over national security letters. i thought it was an appropriate thing to do. when someone's credit -- credibility is hurt, even if they don't know it was going on, it's time to have new leadership and change what's going on.
and we got a new attorney general. yet, i am amazed at how my friends across the aisle keep clinging, as does the president, to an attorney general who is in contempt of congress and in contempt of the law and in contempt of the facts. an attorney general who would ve the nerve to testify that he's never even heard of anyone attempting to prosecute a reporter when he knew as he said it he had ok'd and given his blessing to the persecution of james rosen with fox news. so he either lied to the congress in his testimony or he was a part of a fraud upon the court. because the allegations in the affidavit and application for
the warrant before the court going after james rosen claimed he violated the law, that he was a flight risk, that he was a risk to destroy evidence. so either he believed the -- gs that he approved or which means he lied to congress, or he spoke truthfully to congress and committed a fraud upon the court. either way we need the highest law enforcement officer in the land to have more credibility than that. . yet here he is saying the same thing. saying one thing one place and claiming another in another place. it is so critical that we be able to trust our government. which brings us back to the issue of n.s.a. spying. i was a freshman in 2005-2006 in the 109th